Thursday, July 23, 2009

birth story

Lola's holding baby and he's just sleeping so I'm trying to take advantage of this time to get this out real quick. I know I should be sleeping too but I can't right now.
Monday evening Chinmayo came to check on me. She asked me if I was feeling anything different, I said no just the normal Braxton Hicks. My back was a little sore but we had just gotten back from a long walk and it was always like that after being up and around for a while. As soon as she left though around 7pm I realized the practice contractions weren't really going away like they usually did. They were pretty mild but I went to bed (couldn't sleep though) just in case it was the real thing I wanted to try to rest. Oh and Chinmayo had called back not too long later to let us know that one of her other mom's was going in to labor! I didn't mention anything at that point because I wasn't sure. But later that night around 11pm they were pretty regular so I called her message phone (not the emergency cell phone yet) to let her know that it might be happening. I tried to relax in bed some more but around 1am the "waves" (contractions) were stronger and it wasn't comfortable to lie down anymore. We came back downstairs and I found it most comfortable in the rocking chair and on the yoga ball so I'd go back and forth and get up a walk around for a while. EJ started timing the waves and after he established that they were 3-5 min apart and lasting about a minute I told him not to ask me anymore because he was distracting me from my relaxation. I was listening to the hypnobirthing cd's and really was able to get into a pretty relaxed state that made the waves not too unbearably uncomfortable. I tried one more time to lay down on the super comfy couch and sleep. EJ went to sleep but I definitely couldn't. I tried to let him sleep but only about an hour later I woke him up saying that they're getting more intense. Around 5:30am we called Chinmayo on her cell and she was at the other birth! But she sent over her backup midwife, Susie, who got to the house around 6:30. She checked me and I was 8cm dilated! Yay! EJ and Lena started filling up the pool and I continued what I was doing, relaxing in the rocking chair, bouncing on the yoga ball and walking around listening to super chill music or the hypnobirthing cds. We had lavender candles lit and Lena gave me a foot massage. It was like a spa, kind of. When the pool was ready I got in and the warm water really helped me relax even more. When they asked me if anything was changing I couldn't tell if the intensity was any higher because I was more relaxed. I mean I felt them and they for sure weren't pleasant but I felt in control and could handle them.
Chinmayo arrived from the other birth. Poor they were both exhausted too having been up all night attending the other birth. Chinmayo later said she felt like she was walking into a church when she came in because the vibe was so chill. Lena was such a great doula and EJ was the best birth companion I could ask for. They kept making me drink water and Recharge and force snacks throughout the night...watermelon, miso, cheese and apples. Later I started feeling nauseous and didn't want anything except for salmon strips so I munched on that when I first got in the pool. I kept hearing EJ tell them to keep things quiet so that I could get in the zone. I felt random hands massaging my scalp, rubbing my arms, wiping my face, pulling my hair spoiled! They were all so awesome.
Ooh then there was this big hard wave and my water broke and things suddenly got 100x more intense in that second and I wanted nothing but to push that baby out. After that is when things got primal and I heard my normally quiet reserved self yelling and groaning through the waves, I didn't care who heard me, it was all out there. I don't think there was anything that could have prepared me for that part of birthing. Getting that baby down and out was the hardest thing I have ever done. There was a point where I wished I had pain drugs and I was grateful that I was at home so that I could forget about that option and quickly move past that.
I think maybe because I got so exhausted and started wondering how I was going to do it I got super determined and was able to get back in control and quietly focus each wave and breath on moving baby through. He started crowning and everyone got excited, but I'd get so frustrated when his head would slip back in. I just wanted to get him out already! But then I was scared to push too hard because I wanted things down there to stretch out slowly little by little. Yep and then that feeling like I was going to split in half. And I was. I heard the midwives worrying about a huge tear that was forming. But I had to ignore it. I was getting more and more tired so I just had to give it everything I could and push through the burning anyway.
And his head finally popped out! Ahhh it was the best thing ever!! I rubbed his head sooooo happy, and then on the next wave the rest of his body slipped out and I caught him! I pulled him out of the water to my chest. He cried right away to clear out the gunk in his chest. EJ was crying in my neck and I heard Lena crying too. I didn't though. I just couldn't stop looking at him and touching him and kissing him. AFter a while I heard one of the midwives ask the gender so I looked down and lifted his leg to see and yep he's a boy! When I finally got up and out of the tub and they saw him more I heard Chinmayo say "woah look how big his balls are!"
Finally having him in my arms I didn't care about anything else that was going on. The midwives were rushing around worrying about stopping the bleeding because I already lost so much from the tear. They kept giving me drops of homeopathic stuff and a shot of pitocin in each thigh to get the placenta out and stop the bleeding asap. I was just focused on baby and let them do whatever. The placenta came out, which was also huge. They showed me everything and it was all intact and healthy. Then they told me about the tears and said they wanted an OB to stitch me up because it was pretty bad so we should go to the hospital. I said fine whatever, I didn't care about anything else, just mesmerized by my baby.
So after a while laying with baby I let Susie take him to do the newborn exam. Holy smokes 10 pounds 4 ounces, and that was after pooping three times! (so we're guessing if he'd been weighed right away like in the hospital his birth weight would be around 10 1/2) No wonder mama got tore up so good.
Before we left for the hospital I wanted to get up and rinse off in the shower real quick. So EJ and Lena helped me to the bathroom. It felt so weird standing up and my tummy was so empty, like a vacuum. When I stepped in the shower I felt like I was getting sucked out and I had to sit down. Then I was somewhere else I don't know where, dreaming, then I heard all these voices loudly calling my name and I saw three faces looking down on me and I couldn't remember where I was. That was the first time I'd ever fainted. I heard EJ and Lena breathing heavy and talking fast being worried. I really felt fine though and was trying to calm them down. EJ picked me up off the floor and I kept telling him "don't hurt your back." We got back to the couch and when everyone calmed down I said "how come my ankle hurts?" It was swelling and bruising, I rolled it! EJ had me the whole time so caught me and laid me down but somehow it still rolled. So now not only was I weak from blood loss, I couldn't walk. They were too scared to drive me to the hospital by themselves so decided to call the ambulance. All we needed was the gurney. I was fine. Geez, embarrassing, I hope the neighbors didn't see. So that was dramatic.
Anyway, so I got all stitched up at the hospital. I asked the OB how many stitches and he said "I don't know, I can't count that high." I'm guessing at least 50. It took a while.
My dad, TG and the boys came to visit at the hospital a little bit. Then my dad helped EJ and Lena get me and baby home and in bed. They had to carry me upstairs. I was still too faint. All I wanted to do was get into bed and look at my baby.
So that's what I've been doing since. I'm feeling fine, a little sore and still not very much energy, but happier than ever. I love taking care of this little jelly bean. He's more amazing than I ever could have imagined.


  1. Aaawww MOH I always enjoy reading your blogs! That was a great depiction of the whole labor it made me feel as if I was there too just watching the whole thing unfold! Love you so much! Best wishes and Blessings to the whole family! Dee Manglona

  2. I'm so ecstatic for you and EJ! I just keep looking at your pictures and being so amazed at you, and even more so after reading this blog. Please take care and best wishes!
    - Linda

  3. You are a rock star!! Congrats on your little (or not so little!) boy!!! I'm so happy for you two.


  4. Congratulations Margaret! Your baby is perfect and adorable and you are my new personal hero!


  5. Wow, Margaret. Thanks for taking the time to share your story--I almost had sympathy contractions for you while reading it!! haha... What a great birthing story.